Do you expect to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in the near future? If so, you should be aware that the SSDI application and process is oftentimes a complex task—potentially requiring you to gather evidence, complete paperwork, attend hearings, and more.
Luckily, it is not a task that you need to complete on your own. An SSDI attorney can help you navigate the process.
Perhaps you are reluctant to hire a disability lawyer for an understandable reason: You’re not sure you can afford one.
This may not be as significant an issue as you assume. This overview will help you better understand why hiring an SSDI lawyer can be more affordable than many realize.
How Are SSDI Attorneys Paid?
Again, it is natural to worry that the cost of a disability attorney might outweigh the potential benefits of hiring one. Because there’s no absolute guarantee that you’ll receive disability benefits when you submit an SSDI application, perhaps you assume that you shouldn’t take a financial risk by spending money on a lawyer who cannot ethically promise you a specific outcome for your case.
However, this likely is not something that you need to worry about. A typical SSDI attorney will enter into a contingency fee agreement when you hire them. This means that they will not charge you for their services unless they secure disability benefits for you first.
Usually, a disability lawyer’s fee will either be 25% of the funds you receive or $7,200—whichever is less. The main thing to understand here is that if you don’t get paid, they don’t get paid.
Legal Fees Added Into Your Claim
Signing an agreement with your SSDI lawyer allows the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pay your attorney from your back pay. SSDI back pay consists of the benefits that you essentially accrued between the time you filed your application and the time the SSA gave its approval.
Thus, you do not have to worry about paying your disability attorney out of pocket. The SSA may add legal fees to your claim and, if so, will pay your attorney directly so that you don’t have to.
It is important to understand that your case may involve additional expenses that a contingency fee agreement does not cover. These may include:
- Costs for accessing medical records
- Expert witness fees
- Related out-of-pocket expenses
Sometimes, the SSA will reimburse these fees. However, because that is not a given, you should discuss this topic with your SSDI lawyer. For example, one disability attorney may add these to your contingency fees, while another may require you to pay them, and another may pay them upfront and then deduct them from your back pay, etc.
Get Connected With an Attorney
Hopefully, the information here has eased some reluctance you may have felt about hiring an SSDI attorney. Knowing you typically won’t have to pay your lawyer unless they secure disability benefits for you can make you more confident in your decision to enlist their help.
Additionally, finding a disability attorney doesn’t need to be a challenge. All you have to do is complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this website. After you complete the form, we’ll connect you with an independent, participating disability lawyer that handles cases in your area and can help you.